Neodrepanis hypoxantha 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Philepittidae

Scientific Name: Neodrepanis hypoxantha
Species Authority: Salomonsen, 1933
Common Name(s):
English Yellow-bellied Asity, Yellow-bellied Sunbird-Asity, Small-billed Asity
French Faux-Souimanga à ventre jaune
Neodrepanis hypoxanthus hypoxanthus Collar et al. (1994)
Identification information: 9-10 cm. Tiny, brilliantly-coloured bird with very short tail and fine, fairly long and decurved bill. Males have blackish upperparts, edged iridescent blue. Underparts are unsullied yellow, bill and legs blackish. Large wattle extends from base of bill to well behind eye, ultramarine with turquoise. Females are duller above, olive-green, and lack eye-wattle, although still brilliant yellow underneath. Similar spp. Males distinguished from Sunbird Asity N. coruscans by combination of blackish (not yellow-fringed) primaries, unsullied yellow underparts, more extensive eye-wattle, particularly in front of eye, and shorter, less decurved bill. Females have centre of breast (at least) bright yellow. From Souimanga Sunbird Nectarinia souimanga also by very short tail and tiny size.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Hawkins, F.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Evans, M., Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
This species is listed as Vulnerable because it has a small range that is severely fragmented and suspected to be declining, owing to reductions in the the extent and quality of its habitat.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Vulnerable (VU)
2004 Vulnerable (VU)
2000 Endangered (EN)
1996 Endangered (EN)
1994 Endangered (EN)
1988 Threatened (T)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Neodrepanis hypoxantha, endemic to the higher-altitude parts of eastern Madagascar, is difficult to distinguish from its only congener, N. coruscans. It is known from 13 specimens collected before 1933 and from recent observations. Now that identification criteria are known for this species, its true distribution is becoming clear. It is known from the Marojejy and Anjanaharibe-Sud massifs in the north to the Andohahela massif in the south and is common above 1,200-1,400 m, up to the limit of woody vegetation, e.g. 2,500 m on Tsaratanana (ZICOMA 1999). It is probably present at all intact sites within the eastern forest block that are higher than about 1,200 m (ZICOMA 1999). Its total population size is very difficult to guess, but is potentially more than 10,000 mature individuals.

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 5500
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 11-100
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1200
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2500
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total population size is very difficult to guess, but it is potentially more than 10,000 mature individuals, thus a preliminary estimate in the range 10,000-19,999 mature individuals is used here. This equates to 15,000-29,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 15,000-30,000 individuals. Further documentation is required.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be in decline owing to the degradation of the species's habitat by fires. Future declines are expected, owing to the eventual clearance of upper montane forest and shrubland for agriculture. Past and future rates of decline have not been estimated.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 10000-19999 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: Yes
No. of subpopulations: 2-100 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in low, mossy, humid, upper montane, evergreen woodland, preferring areas with shrubby vegetation (Hawkins et al. 1997); it has also been recorded from rather sclerophyllous forest. It moves hyperactively in the canopy and subcanopy, feeding on nectar from a wide variety of plant genera and on arthropods, also catching flying insects from the tops of low shrubs (Hawkins et al. 1997), and sometimes associating with mixed-species flocks (Langrand 1990). Males display aggressively at intruders (even humans) by bowing low over a branch and displaying their brilliant yellow throat. Nesting has been observed between November and January (Langrand 1990).

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 4.2
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Most higher-elevation forests in eastern Madagascar are relatively less threatened than other forest-types on the island, as they tend to occur in the most remote and unproductive areas, and are thus the last cleared for agriculture. In addition, they have no commercially useful timber (ZICOMA 1999). However, they are highly fragmented and vulnerable to fire (from the deliberate burning of adjacent grasslands for livestock), and thus some areas of the species's habitat burn in dry years.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
This species is known from the following protected areas: Andohahela National Park, Andringitra National Park, Anjanaharibe Classified Forest, Anjanaharibe-South Special Reserve, Mantadia National Park, Marojejy National Park, Marotandrano Special Reserve, Ranoma National Park, Tsaratanana Strict Reserve, Zahamena National Park (ZICOMA 1999).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct studies to estimate its population size. Investigate its ability to utilise degraded habitats. Work with pastoralists to change grassland burning practices. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Neodrepanis hypoxantha. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22698777A38616570. . Downloaded on 26 November 2015.
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